SSA Staffing Drops 3.3 Percent in Fiscal Year 2017
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released updated SSA workforce numbers through September 30, 2017, the end of its fiscal year (FY). The figures show the SSA lost 2,097 (3.3%) employees in FY 2017, and was down 7,666 (11.0%) employees since the end of FY 2010.
New data, obtained by Allsup from a Freedom of Information Act request to the Social Security Administration (SSA), show that very few employees accepted the agency’s recent offer to retire early. As of Sept. 19, only 198 of the approximately 15,000 eligible employees took the offer.
The number of administrative law judges (ALJs), who decide claims at the hearing level, inched up 2.4% to 1,629 from 1,591 at the end of fiscal year 2016. This number has hovered around the 1,500 mark for the past several years, despite the dramatic growth in the pending hearing backlog. As previously reported, the recent Continuing Resolution authorized the hiring of additional ALJs for the purpose of reducing the 1.1 million hearing claims backlog, which also aligns with a September 2016 SSA Office of the Inspector General report on the agency’s objective of reaching up to 1,900 ALJs by fiscal year 2018.
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